San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Trial begins for ex-bodyguards of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen facing attempted murder charges

A criminal court will open a trial Monday against three ex-bodyguards of NFL star Tom Brady and his wife Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen for the “attempted murder” of two photographer.

The trial begins at 7:30 a.m. in the Court of Puntarenas, on the Pacific Coast, according to a copy of a resolution given to the AFP. One of the photographers was working for the Agence France-Presse wire service during the incident. The other alleged victim was shooting photos for a local paper.

“It has been over four years (since the incident) and I hope that justice is done, because my life was in danger because they tried to kill me,” said Cortez, a Salvadoran who now serves as an AFP photojournalist in Mexico .

The alleged attack against Cortez and Carlos Avilés was perpetrated on April 4, 2009 near the home of Bundchen in Santa Teresa, where they were hosting the wedding reception.

The defendants are Costa Ricans Alejandro Valverde and Miguel Solís and Colombian Alexander Barahona. Cortez accused Barahona of initiating the shooting. Valverde identified himself as head of security that day.

The day of the incident the photographers were taking photos at a neighbor’s house. The neighbor had given permission to Cortez and Aviles to shoot the wedding on their property.  The three private guards stopped the two photographers and forced to leave the vicinity near where Bundchen lived.

The guards later summoned the photographers backed to the house, and said New England Patriots quarterback Brady wanted to speak with them, according to Cortez. He said the guards then began to threaten and menace the photographers, demanding they turn over their cameras and memory cards.

The two refused and began to return to their car when they said a bodyguard fired a shot at the vehicle. The bullet shattered the rear windshield of the car and barely missed the photographers, according to court files.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Victor Herrera, said he was confident of a conviction because “we have enough evidence to support the facts in court.”

Bundchen, apparently, had arranged to sell the wedding photos exclusively to a Brazilian magazine and bodyguards were on the look out for paparazzi.

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